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Showing posts from October, 2007

'fsck' Apple, I'll take my freedom!

<rant mode>
The newest version of OS X just came out, and my buddy was telling me about all its great new features. Many of those features have existed in the Linux world for years; some haven't.

He sent me email saying, "There is a big chasm and OS X is driving at 1000 miles an hour to close it on the Unix side. Now if Linux gets it's act together and does all the things OS X does correctly...cool!" Hmm, if "Linux gets its act together..."

Macs are nice. I won't deny that. However, let's face it. A big part of the success of OS X was that they were able to make use of existing software like FreeBSD, KHTML, bash, Python, gcc, etc. OS X can "drive a 1000 miles an hour" because there's so much outstanding open source code to draw on. The reason why the Linux world can't keep up with all the innovation in OS X is because things like Cocoa, Aqua, and Quartz aren't open source. Frankly, I'd love to take someone els…

Linux: Xubuntu 7.10 on a Compaq Presario C500

I was frustrated with Ubuntu 7.10 on my Compaq Presario C500, so I thought I'd give Xubuntu a try. So far, I really like it. It's crazy fast, and I have almost a gig of RAM free :)

Like Ubuntu, the non-standard display resolution worked correctly out of the box. Sound works, although it was crackly during install. In Ubuntu, suspend crashed my machine, but hibernate worked; I haven't tried it under Xubuntu.

Note that since the wireless card doesn't work by default, it's best to be plugged into a wired network during install. The installer makes use of the Internet connection to download various things.

Since this is a laptop, it's best to turn on sub-pixel hinting in Applications >> User Interface Preferences.

I'm not sure if it's needed for the instructions below, but I always like to enable all repositories: Applications >> System >> Synaptic Package Manager:
Settings >> Repositories:
Click on all of them except sourc…

Linux: Ubuntu 7.10 on a Compaq Presario C500

I just installed Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on my Compaq Presario C500. Things went really well. Have I mentioned how much I love this little $375 laptop?

My laptop has enough room for Windows Vista (which I never use) and two copies of Linux. I like to keep around the old version of Ubuntu while upgrading to the new in case something goes wrong and I need a working system. This time, it recognized the other copy of Linux and migrated the users and their settings. By settings, I mean the settings for Gaim, Mozilla, and Evolution. This seems like a rather odd feature, considering it didn't copy all of the other files. Nonetheless, it didn't hurt anything.

Note, that it's probably better to be plugged into a wired network during the install so that it can setup repositories and download security updates. I wasn't, so I had to setup the repositories later.

Happily, the weird resolution (1280x800) just worked this time. Unfortunately, attempting to suspend crashed my…

Computer Science: What's Wrong with CS Research

I absolutely love this blog post: What's wrong with CS research.

I'm a wannabe language designer. I've written three articles on Haskell, but I adore Python. I've been thinking of going back to get my Ph.D so that I can try to move the industry forward. I could never figure out why programming language research had to be so dang complex or mathematized.

A lot of his points matched the points I made in one of my articles, Everything Your Professor Failed to Tell You About Functional Programming, especially in the "What's Up with All the Math?" section.

I'm so glad that I read this post! I feel like I've been set straight. Now I know that hanging out with Guido is probably more useful than trying to understand all those crazy research papers ;)